LOS ANGELES (CBS)  —  Starting today, new health insurance policies must cover – without charge – preventive care that’s backed up by the best scientific evidence. Most people will see this benefit, part of the Obama administration’s health care overhaul, starting Jan. 1.

The list includes tests strongly recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent advisory panel that evaluates research.

Of note for men: Screening for prostate cancer isn’t included on the list because its benefits haven’t been conclusively shown by the best research, at least to the high level required by the law.

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Of note to women: Those in their 40s and at average risk for breast cancer can get a mammogram every one to two years as part of the free preventive care. That’s in line with American Cancer Society advice. But it’s more generous than the Preventive Services Task Force, which says most women don’t need mammograms in their 40s.

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Many employer-based plans won’t be affected by these new requirements if they are “grandfathered” under the health overhaul law. But as those plans make substantial changes they’ll lose their grandfathered status and then have to meet the requirements.

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Here are some of the preventive services that many people won’t have to pay for out-of-pocket, according to federal health officials.

For adults:

-Abdominal aortic aneurysm one-time screening for men of certain ages who have ever smoked.

-Alcohol misuse screening and counseling.

-Blood pressure screening.

-Cholesterol screening for adults of certain ages or at higher risk.

-Colorectal cancer screening for adults over 50.

-Depression screening.

-Type 2 diabetes screening for adults with high blood pressure.

-Obesity screening and counseling.

-Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease.

-Certain vaccines for adults, such as flu shots.

-Sexually transmitted infection prevention counseling for adults at higher risk.

-Tobacco use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users.

-HIV and syphilis screening for adults at higher risk.

For women:

-Anemia screening on a routine basis during pregnancy.

-Bacteriuria urinary tract or other infection screening during pregnancy.

-BRCA counseling about genetic testing for women at higher risk.

-Breast cancer mammograms every one to two years for women over 40.

-Breast cancer chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk.

-Interventions to support and promote breast feeding.

-Cervical cancer screening for sexually active women.

-Chlamydia screening for younger women and other women at higher risk.

-Folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant.

-Gonorrhea screening for women at higher risk.

-Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit.

-Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors.

-Rh incompatibility screening for all pregnant women and follow-up testing for women at higher risk.

-Expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users.

-Syphilis screening for pregnant women or other women at increased risk.

For children:

-Alcohol and drug use assessments for adolescents.

-Autism screening for children at 18 and 24 months.

-Behavioral assessments for children of all ages.

-Cervical dysplasia screening for sexually active females.

-Congenital hypothyroidism screening for newborns.

-Developmental screening for children under age 3, and surveillance throughout childhood.

-Dyslipidemia screening for children at higher risk of lipid disorders.

-Fluoride supplements for children without fluoride in their drinking water.

-Gonorrhea preventive medication for the eyes of all newborns.

-Hearing screening for all newborns.

-Height, weight and body mass index measurements.

-Hematocrit or hemoglobin screening.

-Hemoglobinopathies or sickle cell screening for newborns.

-HIV screening for adolescents at higher risk.

-Vaccines for children from birth to age 18.

-Iron supplements for children ages 6 to 12 months at risk for anemia.

-Lead screening for children at risk of exposure.

-Medical history for all children throughout development.

-Obesity screening and counseling.

-Oral health risk assessment for young children.

-Phenylketonuria screening for the genetic disorder in newborns.

-Sexually transmitted infection prevention counseling for adolescents at higher risk.

-Tuberculin testing for children at higher risk.

-Vision screening.



(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (9)
  1. Eloys Duerbeck says:

    I called Anthem B.C. and told them I wanted my grand daughter covered like before, we were her providers as approved by the court and they cancelled her when she reached 18. They said grandpparents can’t have grand children on their policy according to L.A. We were her guardians and would have left her on our policy if they didn’t cancel her because of age.

  2. Floydster says:

    This will bankrupt the nation if implmented

  3. nyscof says:

    You wonder who benefits from these laws – the people or the drug companies that produce them. It’s very odd that Fluoride Supplements are Ok’d when recent science shows they are ineffective and cause tooth discoloration.

    “There is weak and inconsistent evidence that the
    use of fluoride supplements prevents dental caries [cavities] in
    primary teeth,” according to a systematic review of fluoride
    supplement research published in the November 2008 Journal of the
    American Dental Association.

    The authors could find only one study, from China, showing any
    fluoride cavity-preventing benefit to primary teeth and that study was
    probably biased with a high withdrawal rate, the authors write.

    Mild -to-moderate dental fluorosis (white spotted and/or yellow teeth)
    is a significant fluoride supplement side effect, they report.

    Fluoride supplements, although a prescription drug, were never FDA
    [Food and Drug Administration] tested for safety or effectiveness
    because sodium fluoride was on the market pre-1938 before FDA testing
    laws were enacted. (1)

    In 2007, the American Dental Association (ADA) reported on its web
    site that fluoride supplements put children six and under at
    significant risk of permanently discolored teeth; but never shared
    that information with the American public, pediatricians or MD’s who
    still prescribe fluoride supplements to toddlers. (2)

    “This review confirmed that, in non-fluoridated communities, the use
    of fluoride supplements during the first 6 years of life is associated
    with a significant increase in the risk of developing dental
    fluorosis, write researchers Ismail & Bandekar and first published in
    Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology, February 1999, (3) but
    posted to the ADA’s website July 2007.

    Fluoride supplements sought to achieve a similar effect as
    fluoridation of the water supplies when it was believed that ingested
    fluoride reduced tooth decay. However, the Centers for Disease Control
    now reports that fluoride’s purported beneficial effects are topical
    (4). Swallowing fluoride only exposes children to fluoride’s adverse
    health effects ( http://www.FluorideAction.Net/health ), such as
    dental fluorosis.

    “So there is no good reason to swallow fluoride via supplements or the
    water supply,” says attorney Paul Beeber, President, New York State
    Coalition Opposed to Fluoridation, Inc.

    Studies link dental fluorosis to children’s kidney damage (5) and bone
    fractures (6).

    “While fluoride ingestion is proclaimed a significant cavity reducer,
    there is no valid science to support that,” says Beeber.

    Up to 48% of school children sport dental fluorosis, the outward sign
    of fluoride toxicity, according to the Centers for Disease Control
    (CDC). (7)

    In the Fall 1999 Journal of Public Health Dentistry, dental researcher
    and former dental journal editor Brian A. Burt, Ph.D., M.P.H.,
    B.D.Sc., University of Michigan Emeritus Professor, writes:

    “It is therefore concluded that the risks of using supplements in
    infants and young children outweigh the benefits. Because alternative
    forms of fluoride for high-risk individuals exist, fluoride
    supplements should no longer be used for young children in North


    1) August 2000 letter from NJ Assemblyman Kelly to Senator Robert
    Smith http://www.fluoridealert.org/fda.htm

    2) http://www.ada.org/prof/resources/ebd/reviews/fluoride_supplements.asp

    3) “Fluoride supplements and fluorosis: a meta-analysis,” Community
    Dentistry & Oral Epidemiology, 1999 Feb;27(1):48-56, by Ismail &
    Bandekar .


    4) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5014a1.htm

    5) “Dose-effect relationship between drinking water fluoride levels
    and damage to liver and kidney functions in children,” Environmental
    Research,2007 Jan;103(1):112-6. Epub 2006 Jul 10, by Xiong, et. al


    6) “Dental and Early-State Skeletal Fluorosis in Children Induced by
    Fluoride in Brick-Tea,” Fluoride 2005;38(1):44-47 Cao, et. al

    7) http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/figures/s403a1t23.gif

    8) “The case for eliminating the use of dietary fluoride supplements
    for young children,” Journal of Public Health Dentistry, Fall 1999, by


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